We all see commercials almost everyday, but often times we don’t pay attention to the subtle details. When looking at gender specifically related to children it is interesting to look deeper into the commercials played during cartoons and kids channels in general. I was watching my cousins who are ages 5 and 10 and I was kind of thrown off by the messages these commercials were trying to portray. The commercials made it very clear which gender the toys or movies they were trying to sell were geared towards.
When looking at the keywords essay, “Gender” by Erica Hateley a few things caught my attention that related closely with these commercials. One of the passages was talking about children’s text and the way it is presented and it said that the text “presented boys in fiction as movers, doers, explorers, adventurers, creatures of action, guile, mischief, intellect, and leadership. Girls were presented as tag-alongs, subordinate to cousin initiative and daring, relatively docile, passive, emotional, and unimaginative; as restraining influences on male daring and excess; as objects of an ambivalent (if not schizophrenic) male adulation and contempt (mirroring that which was prevalent in adult society); as domestic souls in training to be housewives and mothers.
As a young woman I find this to be almost disturbing but also very true, and these commercials make these characteristics seem true. In the commercials the ones for dolls and Barbie are shown with only girls playing with them, while the commercials for race cars and legos are only boys. Another interesting thing I noticed was the colors that are shown in the different commercials. The ones for the girls were bright colors like pink and yellow while the boys commercials were red and blue. The voices are also different depending on the target audience, because the ones geared towards girls are usually a girls voice and the boys have a male speaking. What caught my eye the most about these commercials is the way that boys are seen as playing with the more intellectual toys like the building kits, where the girls are playing with Easy Bake Ovens and being taught that they are meant to be preparing the food. By having these commercials be seen to young kids the target audience is being determined just by the way they are presenting the product.